For years, people thought only in terms of solid wood floors, but another version of hardwood took a significant share of the wood flooring industry. Engineered wood flooring
, with the same beautiful undertones, raised grains, knots, and swirls, also has a more practical side. That aspect appeals to some people who place a high value on the more functional capabilities.
This is a layered construction and, at the top, is your species-of-choice. That can be anything from hickory to oak and maple to walnut and cherry. Called the veneer layer, this is what gives that rich, warm, elegant look to your home. Underneath and out of sight are layers composed of genuine wood and a little resin. They are placed in a crosswise position, giving the floor stability and a better ability to handle water.
These floors can be sanded up to five times, depending on thickness, and they will last for decades. The difference, however, is that they don’t shrink or contract to adjust to the weather, so no acclimation is necessary. They can also be placed in some higher-than-normal moisture areas where solid cannot go.
Planks are a little wider and shorter, but manufacturers are working on adding more sizes. While solid wood can be refinished either at the factory or on-site, engineered is almost always pre-finished. Many find that advantage a plus since they know what they will be getting to begin the coordination process, samples in hand, while the floors are being prepared.